KENNY MURRAY has made four changes to his Scotland U20s starting XV ahead of Friday night’s age-grade Six Nations round four clash against Grand Slam chasing Ireland at Scotstoun Stadium.
Behind the scrum, Luke Townsend of Melrose RFC – son of Scotland head coach Gregor – comes in at stand-off in place of the concussed Richie Simpson, while Geordie Gwynn of Ealing Trailfinders and Logan Jarvie of Stirling Wolves make their first starts of the campaign on the wing in place of the rested Will Robinson and the also concussed Ben Evans.
The other change is in the pack where Harris McLeod returns from injury in the second-row with Ruaraidh Hart dropping to the bench.
FOSROC Super Series: Glasgow, Edinburgh and development team to join revamped tournament
FOSROC Super Series Sprint fixtures announced
Friends and family ready to celebrate life of Scottish Parliament stalwart David Hill
There’s a five-three split amongst the replacements with Elliot Young (Exeter University/Exeter Chiefs) called up as hooker cover in place Jerry Blyth-Lafferty and Andy McLean making his first appearance in the match-day squad having missed the start of the campaign whilst playing club rugby for Glasgow Hawks in the Premiership.
“Richie got a bit of a head knock against France and has struggled to get back from that mainly because he had a virus last week and couldn’t do the return to play stuff,” said head coach Murray, explaining the unavailability of Simpson, who has been a stand-out performer in the three previous matches of this championship. “He has just not managed, but all things going well he’ll be fit for selection the following week.
“Luke has been in training with us pretty much most of the programme, he has had some game time with Melrose and he is a really confident young player. He always has a smile on is face, that is one of the things that I like about Luke, nothing seems to get to him. He has quite a good kicking game and he obviously comes from good rugby pedigree.
“He played against Wales under-19s for us before Christmas and for the Scotland under-18s last year so I’m looking forward to seeing him get a run against a strong Ireland side.
“We can all agree our performance in Agen was disappointing, we didn’t show enough energy and physicality to compete against the French team. Everyone – the management and players – know we can’t hide from that result,” Murray added.
“All of the boys knew that we hadn’t reached the levels of performance that we had reached in England and versus Wales, so there was no pretending and everyone was very honest as a group.
“We knew there are a lot of things we had to work on from that game, we tried to find some positives, we forced 14 turnovers and if you do that you should be winning games, but there were just some critical moments. In the 34th minute we were just one try behind then we gave away two soft scores and in the second half our set piece didn’t function too well.
“The return of some players from injury and the introduction of a few new faces into the starting team will hopefully be what we need to get a result we’re proud of.
“Ireland are the best rugby playing team in the competition. They were a strong side last year and they have already shown this year that they have a good balance to their team. They have a good set piece, a good drive and some good players. Their No 8 is a very good player, their 10 has a good kicking game and it’ll be a big challenge, but one we are relishing.”
Scotland U20s (v Ireland at Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow, on Friday @ 7.15pm): D King; L Jarvie, D Munn (co-captain), K Yule, G Gwynn; L Townsend, F Burgess; C Davidson, C Tait, M Ogunlaja, J Parkinson, H McLeod, L McConnell (co-captain), R Brown, J Morris. Substitutes: E Young, M Surry, R Deans, R Hart, S Derrick, C Clare, B Salmon, A McLean.
Scotland v Ireland: George Horne keen to demonstrate his versatility
Duncan Munn has so much time on and off ball in attack or D. It is freakishly good. Seen his younger brother do same yesterday in a 7s tournament. Composed. Good luck U20s bring home the win!
I’ve heard Andy McLean is the next Finn Russell, a once in a generation talent
Second time in pre-match comments that there has been a suggestion that if you’re from a good rugby background/family ties you’re more likely to be selected! Not disputing it’s probably true, but I don’t think it does the players any favours mentioning it! Some surprising omissions in an injury hit squad. Good luck to the lads, likely to be a difficult night.
Cmon .what message does this send out to ordinary Joe Blogg’s son
Please tell me it’s on ability he’s in and not for whom his father is .
Same thing happened last year .
What a ridiculous comment. You’re probably one of those people who thought Farrell got picked for England because of his dad.
It’s not a ridiculous comment Simon .it’s telling what most people are thinking .it’s Nepotism
But by thumbs down numbers in the response it seems the whole population of Scotland are against it .
Seems amazing to get that response Simon .as Daffy D said there’s never been that many commented in Offside Line history .especially in one night
Cmon come clean Simon you’ve fiddled the numbers
Feel the wrath of the dislike button ya silly goose.
Wow ..this response against my comment has been spectacular .which I find really strange .
Simon you must have a lot of aliases ..obviously been up all night pressing thumbs down button.
Correct me if I’m wrong but
There’s never been as many responses in one night since Offside Line ‘s been in existence .
It’s joukery-pawkery somewhere that’s for sure.
Why mention injuries to some and not others as a reason for not being selected. Really wonder about SRU press releases sometimes. Leaves a lot to be misinterpreted.
The SRU’s Media department is run by a quarter-wit I refer to as “Buddy the Elf.”
The guy in-charge is the chocolate fire guard’s chocolate fire guard. So over-promoted it’s not true.
When the guy at the top is that useless – you’re in trouble. He couldnae run a bath.